“We are on the Route de Haut Champ. It’s the road that runs parallel to the Rue du Peu Muleau, where Pierre Breton is. Come for about 6 o’clock.”
And so I had my instructions from Aurélien Revillot. I set off from my house south of Chinon, and even with a little rush-hour traffic, and roadworks outside the Centrale Nucléaire de Chinon, I still turned into the Route de Haut Champ with ten minutes in hand. The problem I now faced was finding Aurélien’s house, on which matter he had given next to no information whatsoever. And as it turned out the Route de Haut Champ is a much longer route than I had expected, running all the way from just above Restigné, up the gravelly terrace to the limestone outcrops at the top of the slope, before then turning right and running along the tree line. Hmm….
Thankfully there weren’t many houses along the road, but in the fading January twilight, and with no signs or numbers on several candidate properties, this was turning out to be more of a challenge than I had expected. Then a stroke of luck; on my third pass along the road I saw a car, driven by a lady with two young children in the back, turn into a courtyard. Perhaps she could give me directions? Stopping to enquire, I was immediately struck by the “I’ve been expecting you” look on her face. It turns out I had found the domaine, and this was Aurélien’s family arriving home from a late school run.
To the Vines
Moments later Aurélien (pictured above) appeared, and we met face-to-face for the first time. Over a handshake he suggested we head out to look at the vines, before the light disappeared completely. We hopped into the front of a white van that had been skulking in the corner of the courtyard and, having fired it up, Aurélien nudged it out onto the road.